Johnny Depp at the photocall for 'Jeanne du Barry' at the 76th Cannes Film Festival held at the Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp says he felt ‘unmasked’ at Cannes: ‘People can hit rock bottom many times’

The 76th Cannes Film Festival got off to a controversial start when Maïwenn’s “Jeanne du Barry” was featured as the opening night selection last month. The period piece, which features Johnny Depp in a supporting role as French monarch Louis XV alongside Maïwenn’s eponymous lead, garnered as much attention for the personal lives of its cast as for its artistry.

The film marks Depp’s first major role in years, following his bitter defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard and widespread reports of unprofessional behavior on movie sets. Her director and co-star also found herself in the headlines ahead of the film’s premiere for assaulting a journalist at a restaurant in France.

The film premiered to moderate reviews and eventually secured an American distribution deal from Vertical. Depp’s colorful press conference at the festival garnered a lot of attention, and film industry watchers have started speculating that the actor could make a big Hollywood comeback in the near future.

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A new Instagram behind the scenes video released by photographer Greg Williams shows Depp preparing for his Cannes appearance and opens up about the experience of returning to the historic festival.

“Going up the rungs of the thing, I’ve done that a couple of times with different films over many years,” Depp said of returning to Cannes. “It’s kinda cool, when you’re at the end, you feel alone, initially you feel fucking exposed.”

Depp has continued to dismiss the notion that his return to acting is a “comeback,” saying he has never attempted to leave Hollywood despite how successful his reputation has been.

“I mean, call it what you want, you could do it what you want but comeback? I mean, you have to leave to come back,” Depp said. “I didn’t go anywhere. Maybe I wasn’t thought of or looked at or not allowed to be looked at.

The actor explained that he is well aware of how his recent scandals have affected public perceptions of him, but has expressed confidence in his ability to continually bounce back from his failures.

“People can hit rock bottom many times,” he said. “You can fall right down a billion fucking times, but if you’re lucky enough to find the basement, you’re fine, you know?”